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AVME717 Medical Logistics in Aeromedical Transport

Historical perspectives; search and rescue; primary aeromedical retrieval; secondary aeromedical retrieval and transfers; logistics of long reach retrieval; tertiary aeromedical transport; logistics of international repatriation; essential pre-flight considerations; working as a team.

This practical paper details the clinical and operational aspects of the transfer of critically ill patients by air.

Paper title Medical Logistics in Aeromedical Transport
Paper code AVME717
Subject Aviation Medicine
EFTS 0.25
Points 30 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,018.75
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Limited to
MAvMed, MHealSc, PGCertAeroRT, PGDipAeroRT, PGDipHealSc

Healthcare professionals currently employed, or interested in work, in the aviation medicine industry.

If you have not already done so, please contact the department for course advice before selecting your programme,

Teaching staff

Gareth Richards

Niall McMahon

Paper Structure

Core paper for the Postgraduate Certificate in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport (PGCertAeroRT) and the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences endorsed in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport (PGDipHealSc(AeroRT))

Part of the Master of Aviation Medicine (MAvMed) and the Master of Health Sciences endorsed in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport (MHealSc(AeroRT)).

Teaching Arrangements

This Distance Learning paper is taught remotely.

It is taught in odd years in the first semester.

Textbooks are not required for this paper.
Course outline

Logistics is fundamentally the coordination of movement of personnel and equipment. In the aeromedical field this concerns getting the right crew, with the right equipment, using the right platform, to the right place, at the right time. As clinicians our focus is naturally on patient care. However, understanding logistics and being able to manage and plan non-clinical aspects of patient transport are essential to being an effective retrieval clinician - even more so to those clinicians with managerial and administrative roles.

This paper explores aeromedical logistics and aims to provide an understanding of the logistic considerations and challenges involved in running an aeromedical retrieval service.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork, global perspective, lifelong learning, scholarship, communication, critical thinking, self-motivation, teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the paper will be able to:

  1. Describe what aeromedical logistics means and compare and contrast examples from across the spectrum of aeromedical services
  2. Critically appraise the systems, roles, teamwork, and decision-making processes involved in retrieval coordination and pre-flight preparation and planning
  3. Apply their understanding of the logistical considerations and constraints of aeromedical services to complex aeromedical taskings

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Overview and additional information

Air ambulance medicine is one of the most rapidly expanding and exciting spheres of clinical practice in the world today. Health professionals engaged in air ambulance operations can find themselves in very different areas of activity, from the long range repatriation of a critically ill patient through to local search and rescue services. The clinical and operational competencies required for this type of practice are multi-facetted and demanding. This paper looks at historical perspectives and draws upon the lessons learned in the development of aeromedical systems. It examines the roles of aeromedical systems in the wider health community around the world and discusses the logistics of all types of aeromedical missions. It will take the transfer of patients from the roadside or other accident scene, through stabilisation and casualty evacuation, to primary and inter-hospital transfers as part of an acute service. In addition it will describe how strategic aeromedical evacuation may be undertaken either at a secondary level between hospitals or as long range intercontinental transport. As part of this package, this paper introduces the concepts of teamwork and integrated crew functioning, and how effective pre-flight planning is key to logistic and medical management of patients during aeromedical transportation.

The nine modules which comprise the paper are as follows:

  • Historical perspectives
  • Search and Rescue
  • Primary aeromedical retrieval
  • Secondary aeromedical retrieval and transfers
  • Logistics of long reach retrieval
  • Tertiary aeromedical transport
  • Logistics of international repatriation
  • Essential pre-flight considerations
  • Working as a team

For certification purposes each 30 point paper equals 300 hours of personal study

For further information

Please email the Programme Manager:

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system